Athanasia Monika Mowinckel
I am part of the cognitive and neuroscience division of the Department of Psychology. My PhD project is on decision making in adult ADHD, and how stimulant medication influences the decision making process in this patient group. I focus especially on reward based decisions (monetary rewards). In addition to this, I will try to see how adults with ADHD activate different brain areas during decisions and whether this is different to healthy controls, and how this process is altered by medication. This part of the project is done in collaboration with The Intervention Center at oslo University Hospital on their 3 Tesla Phillips scanner. As both ADHD and decision making are related to the catecholamines dopamine and serotonin, I am also generally interested in how these neurotransmitters influence our behaviour.
My PhD is part of a larger project with several researchers (please see panel to the right for link), and we cooperate with an ADHD clinic in Tønsberg, which is part of Vestre Viken Hospital Trust.
Apart from my PhD project, I am also very interested in instrinsic brain activation, measured through fMRI. Task-based fMRI looks for changes in bloodflow only equal to about 1%, what the brain does with the remaining 99% is something that has gained increasing interest in the neuroscientific field the last 10 years. This "resting state" can hopefully give us indications of how the brain is functionally organised, in comparison to the structural connectivity which is easier to measure. The hope is being able to use this intrinsic fMRI procedure to help diagnose functional problems, without patients needing to understand and remember complex experimental paradims.
Higher education and employment history
I completed my Bachelor's (under-graduate) in Cognitive Psychology in 2009, and continued to take my Master's degree (2-year post-graduate) in Cognitive neuroscience right after this, both at the University of Oslo. My Master's project was about age-realted changes in resting state patterns in a large sample of adults spanning 20 - 80 years of age.
I worked for several years at Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, Blakstad hospital, as a community worker in a department with mainly schizophrenics and persons with dual diagnosis problems. Additionally, I have worked for some years as a research assistent and a seminar leader at the University of Oslo.